Rating: Company’s browser is an accidental iOS app hit
Chatting to the CEO of Skyfire, Jeff Glueck, yesterday, GoMo News suddenly appreciated why around 12 million people have downloaded the company’s browser for iOS and Android. The split is roughly 7 million Android users and 5 million iOS users. The browser’s chief capability is to be able to convert video formats on the fly. So if a web site is utilising Adobe Flash, then the data will be converted to HTML 5. “It enables iOS device owners to unlock the potential of the full Internet rather than rely on Apple-friendly sites,” Glueck explained. Amazingly, Glueck was almost dismissive of the million of dollars these apps rake in per annum. Why? Because his company’s main focus is on helping out operators and the move into Europe (via a UK office) is to promote SkyFire’s on-the-fly video data compression offering. However, he did also mention that an add-on for an Android browser will present one US based operator with opportunities to advertise to its own customers. Glueck described it as an antidote to the demise of the operator portal – which quite frankly hardly anyone ever visits these days.If you want to download the Skyfire browser for your iOS device, you can visit the iTunes App Store here.
It costs £1.99 and is described as a Number One app in the UK App Store – it has been doing that well!
Android users can obtain the browser for free on the Android Market here.
However, if you pay £1.79 you get the video license (unlock) key for the ‘video optimisation’ feature hidden inside that browser.
The reality is that Skyfire only really created these apps to show case its video optimisation software for network operators.
This software is installed on the operator’s servers not as a handset client.
The chief advantage to this product is that it can optimise the delivery of data to smartphones on the operator’s network regardless of what browser that handset is running.
GoMo News noticed that this would mean optimal video data delivery to those smartphone running the more obscure mobile OS – such as HP’s webOS. Let’s hope Orange UK goes for Skyfire’s server software, then.
Glueck claims that the product – Rocket Optimizer 2.0- can reduce the data overhead on video delivery by 50 -60 per cent on video and can add 25 per cent to peak network capacity.
As standard, the Skyfire browser ads a ‘smart’ bar at the bottom of the handset’s screen which can make intelligent suggestions such as apps or other commercial services.
It’s this technology which Skyfire has adapted for a US based operator. Glueck described it as lightweight native code which modifies the standard installed browser on specific Android handsets.
As well as giving the operator the capability to make its own suggestion from the ‘smart’ bar, there’s also a facility to place a small ad just above the bar. He described the ads as very unobtrusive.
Glueck also explained that his company’s data optimisation software doesn’t attempt to insert ‘ interstitial’ ads which might annoy the user – a term this GoMo News hack had never encountered before.
If you want to see the power of the Skyfire browser – why not go to the desktop (rather than mobile) version of a web site – say a Formula One one – and watch the streamed video?